I cannot imagine life, on any level, without my Little Girl. So I stay down in Deepest Jersey, so far rooted in the corn and soybeans that I cannot imagine an easy way out.
I do what I can to make life comfortable -- like dating. Many of the women I’ve met there have been very nice. Nearly all have firm handshakes, from all the cow milking. Rurality rules. Once, I got excited when I learned that they were putting in a big-box store nearby. “Target?” I hopefully asked a farmer I know. “Better!” he shouted back. “Tractor Supply Company!”
For native New York City boys like me, Exit One of the New Jersey Turnpike was always a theoretical concept. But now I’m 14 minutes from the toll booths, the abstract having become quite real. I’m also a cowpie’s toss from the oldest continuously run weekly rodeo in America, called – what else? -- Cowtown. It’s near a weekly animal auction that’s so old, George Washington bought meat on the hoof there to be slaughtered for his men at Valley Forge.
I accept this as life now, the crazy way it is. I’ve nosed around and learned that the type of joint legal and physical custody I have is the closest thing to an intact family there can be after a divorce. There are lots of negatives when fathers are missing from the picture. So I’m not going anywhere, even if it means squelching the now-withering urbanite within.